ABB enables world’s first HVDC grid to enable integration of renewable energy in China

Technology company ABB has delivered the Zhangbei high-voltage direct current (HVDC) grid in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area of China in order to ensure supply of stable and reliable electricity during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and enable the integration of remote wind, solar and hydro energy.
ABB enables world’s first HVDC grid to enable integration of renewable energy in China

The network-based architecture will enable the integration of remote wind, solar and hydro energy in a transmission ring that ensures optimisation of power flow. The HVDC grid has been designed by State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC). ABB will supply several critical elements including an HVDC Light valve, wall bushings, transformer components, high-voltage capacitors and power semiconductor devices.

HVDC is a highly efficient technology for transmitting large amounts of electricity over long distances with minimal losses. Traditionally, they are point-to-point links, but the Zhangbei pilot project is unique because several stations are connected with each other in a network, optimising the use of renewables while ensuring reliability of power supply. ABB, as well as other local suppliers, is supplying key equipment for this milestone project, which will be the world’s largest and most advanced Voltage Sourced Converter (VSC) HVDC system with four interconnected stations in a ring network, delivering up to 4,500 megawatts (MW) of clean energy.

“ABB pioneered commercial HVDC technology more than sixty years ago and introduced crucial innovations like HVDC Light and ultra-high HVDC (UHVDC) transmission to ensure reliable and efficient power supplies” said Claudio Facchin, President of ABB’s Power Grids division. “ABB’s participation in this project reflects SGCC’s ongoing confidence in ABB’s proven HVDC expertise and our long-term efforts to help China strengthen its power infrastructure while minimising environmental impact”

ABB first introduced the VSC-HVDC technology in 1997 and called it HVDC Light. The technology can control the power flow between grid locations, move electricity at very low losses and support voltage and frequency of weak grids such as isolated wind farms. Its controllability and black start capability make it suitable for many key power applications, such as the integration of renewable energy from isolated wind farms on land or at sea and interconnections with AC networks.

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